Sea Org

What a train wreck: The ignominious fate of Scientology’s original flagship, the ‘Apollo’

                                                  L. Ron Hubbard’s Flagship Apollo

(This article by Jeffrey Augustine was first published on The Underground Bunker. It is republished here with added content and archival material.)

L. Ron Hubbard’s original flagship, the Apollo, met a freak ending when it was hit and destroyed by a 3,750,000 pound freight train. This is somewhat ironic when you remember Hubbard’s 1963 claim…

“I notice that we all believe that Venus has a methane atmosphere and is unlivable. I almost got run down by a freight locomotive the other day — didn’t look very uncivilized to me.” – L. Ron Hubbard, “Between Lives Implants” lecture, SHSBC #317. 23 July 1963.

Commodore L. Ron Hubbard in his office on the Apollo. In this photo we can see Ron wearing a Rolex; his pack of Kool cigarettes; ashtray; and his daily glass of Coca-Cola. Ron’s fake war medals can be seen on the right side of the photo. The fake medals are hanging in a display case leaning against the wall.

Train-ship collisions are as rare as David Miscavige doing a network television news interview, which is to say that both have only happened once, according to the record. How did this bizarre collision occur? The story begins in 1975 in Daytona Beach, Florida when the Sea Org left the Apollo and went ashore.

When Hubbard and the Sea Org went ashore in 1975 and began surreptitiously to take over the town of Clearwater, Florida, the Apollo became a forgotten discard, a sort of second wife the Sea Org never had. The vessel was now a 39-year-old boat that guzzled expensive fuel oil. Accordingly, a seven-man skeleton crew was assigned to maintain the vessel while the Church worked to sell it and make some money. The crew dropped anchor in Nassau and would remain there for two years as only a tiny handful of prospective buyers came and went.

Read Paul Kawaller’s account: The Final Days on the Apollo

The Apollo was finally sold for $90,000 in 1977 to Consolidated-Andy Inc., a shipbreaking firm in Brownsville, Texas. The poster russ tee k9 added this comment on the sale of the Apollo on Tony Ortega’s blog:

Originally intending to dismantle the ship for scrap, Richard Jaross, Vice-President of Consolidated-Andy Inc., told the Brownsville Herald in October 1977 that the company had decided instead to turn it into a floating restaurant and locate it at the highly popular tourist town of South Padre Island.

Consolidated-Andy Inc. then changed its plans and sold the ship at auction to Zanzibar Shipping in 1978 for $188,000, doubling its investment in a one-year flip. Rechristened the Arctic Star by Zanzibar, the ship would never leave Brownsville for South Padre Island. Zanzibar Shipping would later be described in court papers as a, “Panamanian corporation with its headquarters in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.” This makes no sense, but it gets more tangled as Zanzibar Shipping claimed in court papers that it did no business in the United States.

The 1982 Memorandum Decision of District Judge DeAnda tells the story and adds an incorrect detail that would surely have infuriated Commodore Hubbard:

The ship now called “ARCTIC STAR” has seen a colorful and varied career. Christened the “ROYAL SCOTSMAN” in 1936, she plied the rough seas between Belfast and Glasgow and survived. She risked German U-Boats when used as a troop ship in World War II and survived. She even had a name change (to “APOLLO”) and saw use as a spy ship for the CIA and survived. After having successfully avoided these often encountered and expected nautical dangers, it is perhaps quite ironic that she did not survive the night of September 16, 1980, when while lying at berth in the Port of Brownsville, Texas, she was rammed and constructively sunk by a railroad train.

…In addition to its unusual history, the ownership of the “ARCTIC STAR” is also far from ordinary. Although since being rechristened the “ARCTIC STAR” the ship has never left the Port of Brownsville, Texas, it is owned by Zanzibar Shipping, S. A., a Panamanian corporation with its headquarters in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The exact makeup of this corporation, created especially for ownership of the “ARCTIC STAR,” is shrouded in mystery; its stock is “bearer stock” and not even the corporate secretary, Ms. Ann Priddy, has any idea who or where its stockholders are. Despite its being headquartered in Wisconsin and having its only known asset permanently docked in Texas, Zanzibar Shipping maintains that it does no business in the United States.

The Apollo was not a CIA spy ship. In fact, L. Ron Hubbard was infuriated when this rumor was circulated during the years when the Apollo was cruising around the Mediterranean. The “Apollo is a CIA ship” rumor caused the Apollo to lose docking privileges in Mediterranean ports. Soon, virtually no Mediterranean ports would accept the Apollo. This forced Hubbard to order the Apollo to cross the Atlantic in July 1974. The Apollo then cruised the Caribbean for about sixteen months. Hubbard decided to have the Sea Org go ashore to Daytona Beach in October 1975.


THE LAWSUIT

“WTF!?” you may be asking yourself. How does a train hit a ship? One of my sources sent me a PDF copy of the newspaper article from the Brownsville Herald which is posted at the bottom of this article. In the article we learn that the collision happened late at night. The four people who were living aboard the ship were not injured; the same could not be said for the Apollo.

Quoting from the July 19, 1981 story we read:

The train, operated by Missouri Pacific, had been rolling along the concrete pier on a siding when seven boxcars detached from an engine, smashed through a blockade and struck the ship…

It was a night Capt. Robert Manning won’t easily forget either.

“I said: ‘I can’t believe this, there’s a train hanging out of the ship.”

Manning, asleep at the time of impact, recalls he was awakened by his wife, Anna, telling him: “ Honey, we’ve been hit by a train .”

“I thought it was a dream,” Manning said.

And it wasn’t easy explaining it to the Coast Guard and others he contacted by telephone. “They said, ‘Right, captain. Now put down that bottle and get yourself some sleep.’

“And I said, ‘No, really, we’ve been hit by a train .’

“And they’d say, ‘Captain, put out what you’re smoking and try to get some rest. Everything’s going to be all right.’”


Captain Manning’s appearance is as colorful as his great story-telling ability:


Trial Judge DeAnda wrote of Captain Manning:

The ship’s master is Captain Robert Manning, all of whose navigational charts seem to point towards the federal courthouse. See U. S. v. Firebird, Inc., No. B-79-116, (S.D.Texas, filed May 17, 1979); Baldwin v. Cisneros, No. B-79-249 (S.D.Tex., filed November 15, 1979); Brownsville Navigational District v. “ARCTIC STAR”, No. B-82-5 (S.D.Tex., filed January 11, 1982); Zanzibar Shipping v. United States, No. H-82-288 (S.D.Tex., filed after January 11, 1982).


Missouri Pacific Railroad Company conceded liability. The locomotive was pulling eighteen fully loaded freight cars. Seven of these cars separated from the train, jumped the tracks, smashed through a concrete barrier, and slammed into the Arctic Star. The only question now was how much Zanzibar Shipping could take Missouri Pacific to the cleaners for.

Here is a photo posted on the Bunker by PickAnotherID that shows the culprit in the crash:

               Following the 1980 collision, Engine 2199 was placed back into service.

Fun Fact: Athearn sells a replica of the ship-killer Engine #2199. This makes the perfect gift for model train enthusiasts who want a replica of an engine with an unusual history:


HOW HARD DID THE TRAIN HIT THE APOLLO?

Essentially, the train cars hit the ship so hard that “the nine-inch polypropylene stern lines securing the ship snapped from the impact.” Imagine the sheer force needed to snap 9″ polypropylene lines! The ship’s stern was pushed out and its bow was pushed in and collided with the dock. The net effect was that the hull was twisted from the impact. As the court noted:

Repair of a twisted hull is extremely expensive. The “ARCTIC STAR” is a riveted-hull vessel, a type of construction no longer used in shipbuilding. To determine the exact extent of the damages would require the ship to be towed to a shipyard capable of doing this type of repair work and there drydocking and completely inspecting the ship. Estimates for this repair work were uniformly high…The lowest estimate is $10,000,000.

The court noted that the locomotive and its fully loaded freight cars weighed 3,750,000 pounds. The speed at which the fully loaded train was moving cannot be found by your correspondent. However, physics gives us the simple equation: Force equals mass times acceleration. The train was pulling eighteen fully loaded freight cars at a sufficiently high rate of speed that when seven cars separated from the train and jumped the tracks, they hit the 3,244 ton Apollo with a high enough amount energy to twist the ship’s 340 foot hull. According to the court record, the Apollo rolled during the impact and took on some water. The ship didn’t sink but it did take on water.


The Apollo began life as the HMS Royal Scotsman. Built in 1936 at Harland & Wolff’s Belfast yard, the ship was built to ferry cattle and passengers between Belfast and Glasgow. The ship served as a troop transport in WWII. Scientology purchased the Royal Scotsman in 1967 and rechristened it the Apollo. The photo was taken during the HMS Royal Scotsman’s sea trials. The vessel was 340 feet in length and weight 3244 tons. The beam was 48 feet and the draught 17 feet. 

The court discussed the various legal theories in determining damages. This was necessary as the opposing parties were light years apart in what the damages should be. The court noted this discrepancy in whimsical language:

One of Defendant’s experts, Tommy Laing, estimated the damages at $21,000, based on cost of repair; one of Plaintiff’s experts Fergus Fleming, estimated damages at $35,000,000, based on cost of replacement. This is not a shadowland, but the Twilight Zone. Even when considering value alone, the differences are staggering. A surveyor for Plaintiff, Manning Dierlam, estimated the “ARCTIC STAR”‘s market value at $2,500,000… Defendant’s experts’ top value was $350,000.

The court next discussed the actual condition of the ship…

…the photographic evidence introduced during the trial indicates an aging and rusting ship in poor condition…The fact that the “ARCTIC STAR” could not legally sail on September 16, 1980, and the costs of re-securing her seaworthy status are important and relevant factors the Court has considered in determining her value. Because of her poor condition and lack of papers the Court further finds that on September 16, 1980, the “ARCTIC STAR” was not seaworthy.

Two other factors the Court has utilized in determining the value of the “ARCTIC STAR” are her insured value and the ship’s mortgage. Plaintiff’s claims of great value for its vessel are undercut by the fact that it did not maintain insurance on her…Zanzibar Shipping apparently negotiated a mortgage with a foreign bank for $200,000 and had received a Letter of Credit for that amount.

…After considering all of the above factors and findings of fact, the Court concludes that the value of the “ARCTIC STAR” on September 16, 1980 was $350,000. The Court finds her salvage value was $58,400, based on $40 a ton for uncut scrap and a weight of 1460 tons…Plaintiff is therefore entitled to recover from Defendant the sum of $291,600 as damages for the constructive total loss of the “ARCTIC STAR.”

An additional $13,000 was awarded for a small scow and a hatch cover the train destroyed. Costs of cleaning up 10 tons of oil that were spilled were awarded as were survey fees. Zanzibar Shipping paid $188,000 for the ship and collected $291,600 in damages, thus turning a tidy profit. The court awarded 12 percent per year interest from the date of the loss and so Zanzibar pocketed about another $70,000 in interest.

Gulmar Inc. of Brownsville, Texas was given the contract to haul away the damaged Arctic Star and scrap it. The Apollo, the once legendary Flag Ship of Commodore L. Ron Hubbard, was disposed of quietly and without sorrow under the pitiless sun in a nondescript ship breaking yard in Brownsville, Texas.

In a peculiar postscript to this story, parts of the Apollo deemed to be of value were stored by Gulmar Inc. in 1984 only to be promptly forgotten. In 2016, Gulmar Inc. sold these items at auction. An eBay seller purchased the lot and realized he had parts of the Apollo.

The seller offered the ship’s helm for $19,995.95. We contacted him, and he said that he had sold the item, but wouldn’t reveal the identity of buyer or the amount paid.


Consolidated-Andy Inc. purchases the Apollo. Story of October 16, 1977 in the Brownsville Herald. Please hover your cursor over the document to invoke the page up/page down controls at the bottom of the page frame:

brownsville-herald-oct-16-1977-p-9.AAA

The Brownsville Herald article on the train hitting the Apollo. Please hover your cursor over the document to invoke the page up/page down controls at the bottom of the page frame:

Apollo.brownsville-herald-jul-19-1981-p-27

The Memorandum Decision in Zanzibar Shipping v. Railroad Locomotive Engine. Please hover your cursor over the document to invoke the page up/page down controls at the bottom of the page frame:

ZANZIBAR SHPG. v. Railroad Locomotive Engine, 533 F. Supp. 392 (S.D. Tex. 1982) __ Justia.1

$104,721 Per Year: If Sea Org Members Were Paid According to Minimum Wage Requirements in Los Angeles

1. Minimum wage in Los Angeles is $13.25 per hour.

2. The first four hours of overtime on any workday is calculated at $19.87 per hour. This is the “time and a half” hourly rate. Overtime is defined as all hours worked beyond eight hours.

3. All overtime hours that exceed 12 hours in a day must be paid at double pay. This is $26.50 per hour. However, all work hours that exceed eight hours on the seventh consecutive day of work must be paid at double time. Double time pay is $26.50 per hour.

4. Assume a 110 hour Sea Org seven-day work week.

5. A 110 hour work week equals seven consecutive days of 15.7 hours each.

6. Based upon the foregoing, the minimum wage paycheck in Los Angeles for a 110 hour work week would be calculated as follows:

A. Straight Time: 56 hours @ $13.25 = $742.00

B. Time and a Half: 24 hours @ $19.87 = $476.88

C. Double Time: 30 hours per week @ $26.50 = $795.00

D. Total Gross Pay Per Week: $2,013.88

E. Total Annual Gross Pay at 52 weeks: $104,721.76

This is the true legal and financial value of Sea Org labor under minimum wage guidelines in Los Angeles County for a 110 hour workweek of seven consecutive days. For specific details please refer to the California Dept of Industrial Relations Webpage on Overtime Rules.

More Math: 110 hours per week over 52 weeks = 5,270 hours of work per year for a Sea Org member.

$104,721.76 divided by 5,270 hours of work = $19.87 per hour pay on an averaged basis.

$19.87 should be the hourly wage for all Sea Org workers — particularly given the fact that they receive absolutely no benefits, no savings plan, no pension plan, etc. and must pay for their own personal expenses items. For example, Scientology does not pay for feminine hygiene products for female Sea Org members. Birth control for married couples in not paid for. Toothpaste, shampoo, and soap are not paid for. When an Org does not hit its gross income target in a given week, all Sea Org members in that Org are not paid at all. Worse, they are fed rice and beans for lunch and dinner.


Conclusion: Sea Org members are engaged in a billion year exercise in futility and self-torment for working as “religious volunteers” for a “stipend” each week of about $50 for a 110 hour work week. Some weeks Sea Org are not paid at all. Sea Org members also receive room and board in substandard living conditions. The Sea Org is slave labor and a lie. Sea Org members are basically forfeiting $2,000 a week in exchange for nothing except abuse, lower conditions, and being screamed at constantly.

One crucial item: American Sea Org members pay virtually nothing into the US Social Security system. When they reach 65 years of age there is no safety net and little or no Social Security check each month. The horror stories older former SO members have told me of being 65 years of age, or older, with no income and little or no Social Security income are horrific. Their story is brutal: Old and poor with nothing to show for having slaved away in the Sea Org. There is no pension in the Sea Org. The staff contract Sea Org members signs takes away all rights to pay and pension and instead provides a stingy little “stipend.” In America, religious volunteers can take vows of poverty, are not entitled to pay, and are not protected by secular workplace protections. Sea Org are hit especially hard due to the extraordinary greed and malice of Scientology whose policies do not allow for old age or pensions.

Here is an excerpt of the staff contract Sea Org members sign whereby they forgo $104,721 per year in income if they work in Los Angeles. Kiss that money goodbye forever:

To Recap: The Sea Org does not legally exist.

There is no health care plan.

Sea Org members get little or no Social Security when they reach age 65.

There is no pension plan for Sea Org workers.

There is only abuse.

Recommended Reading: Why no one should ever join Scientology’s ‘Sea Org’

An Alternative: Working two full time jobs at minimum wage would be 80 hours per week at $13.25. This brings in $1,060 per week or $55,120 per year gross income. This path would allow you to get your life back on track. You’re already working long hours so at least get paid the minimum wage for working. Moreover, an 80 hour work week cuts your present work week by 30 hours. You can also arrange your work schedule so that you have one or two full days off per week.

Why are Sea Org members sacrificing their lives and financial well-being to enrich Scientology?

If you’re in the Sea Org why are you still reading this? Blow and get out. Make a better life for yourself. Tell Scientology to stick its unenforceable “Freeloader Bill” in a dark place. You don’t have to pay a Freeloader Bill and Scientology can’t make you. “Volunteers” do not have to reimburse the costs of training. However, Scientology’s greed knows no limit and so it threatens Sea Org who want to leave with a massive Freeloader Bill in order to terrify them into staying. It is fraud and the intentional infliction of mental cruelty.

Here is the Sea Org staff contract in which Sea Org members sign away all their rights. Note: Hover your cursor over the document to invoke the page up/page down controls at the bottom of the document:

Church-of-Scientology-1996-Staff-Contract

Scientologist Michael Holstein & The Panama Papers

Michael.Holstein

The image above is from 2007 and was published in a Scientology magazine I received in the US mail many years ago. I posted several photos of Sea Org members contained in the magazine at xenu.net in a thread entitled David Miscavige’s Other Golden Boys.

According to this image above, Scientologist Michael Holstein was a European businessman who joined the Sea Org. Holstein was appointed the Solo NOTs Director of Processing at Flag. This is an extremely high pressure position in which one gets yelled at constantly by seniors for improved stars.

The Scientology Money Project is researching Mr. Holstein as his name appears along with that of Scientology billionaire Bob Duggan in the Panama Papers. In the relational map below, Michael Holstein is listed as a shareholder of a company called Genuine First Aid International. Also shown is Iraqi Scientologist Ali Shawkat who, along with his father Mudhar Shawkat — a former member of Parliament in Iraq — sold an Iraqi telecom company for $140,000,000 and moved the money out of Iraq. $14,000,000 of this money was invested in Scientologist Matt Feshbach’s Okyanos Heart Institute in The Bahamas. Feshbach sold, or otherwise transferred the company’s assets depending upon the different versions of changes of ownership we uncovered, and is no longer associated with Okyanos. Ali Shawkat also donated $5,000,000 to the IAS.

The scope of our research project is to examine where Michael Holstein fits into Bob Duggan’s financial empire. The diagram shows Duggan as a shareholder and Director of Genuine First Aid International — a company that has connections Amman, Jordan. Yet another Panama Papers diagram shows Robert Duggan to be a shareholder of a company called Spang CM Ltd. This diagram shows additional connections to the Cayman Islands and the Appleby Trust:

Michael Holstein is shown as the CEO of Genuine First Aid International of Fujian, China:

The connections between Duggan, Spang, Genuine First Aid International, and China are shown in the Panama Papers:

We learn at LinkedIn that Michael Holstein was apparently moved from his position as CEO of Genuine First Aid International in China to Operations Manager and transferred to Tampa:

What year did Michael Holstein leave the Sea Org and become part of what appears to be a “Scientology Money Club” that spans the globe? The locations of Scientology-owned businesses and offshore assets include, but are not limited to the following countries:

China
The Cayman Islands
Amman, Jordan
Venezuela
Iraq
United States
Canada
The Bahamas
The United Kingdom
Colombia
Taiwan

Michael Holstein’s Scientology Completions are published online:

Tom Cruise and David Miscavige Have Brunch & L. Ron Hubbard Was Supposed to “Make Himself Visible” by 1999

The Church of Scientology sent this now widely-circulated photo of Tom Cruise and David Miscavige to the Los Angeles Times for its feature article on Scientology. Published December 5, 2004 both the photo and the Times caption are unintentionally hilarious:

A STAR AND HIS LEADER: Tom Cruise and David Miscavige after a brunch at Scientology’s Celebrity Centre in Hollywood about a year ago.

Tom Cruise and David Miscavige send mixed signals in the photo. They want to present a sinister image of themselves as planetary-clearing, Psych-busting, bad-ass, leather-wearing Scientologists on their matching Ducati’s. However, bad-ass bikers don’t do brunch. The photo looks like a sultry urban bromance more than anything else.

In the L.A. Times article of 2004 we learn several interesting facts:

1. David Miscavige had molds made of his feet so that he could order custom made shoes:

2. Scientology acquired the old Gilman Hot Springs resort for $2.78 million in 1978. The resort became the home to Scientology’s Gold Base where the infamous “musical chairs” event occurred. This event was first reported on by Marc Headley at xenu.net. This was when Marc was writing under the screen name Blownforgood. Marc’s book Blown For Good: Behind the Iron Curtain of Scientology is a true classic.

3. The Church used the names “Scottish Highland Quietude Society” and “Western States Scientific Assn.” to purchase the Gilman Hot Springs resort. Scientology did not want anyone to know who the real buyer was. This was the same dishonest method whereby Scientology acquired its first properties in Clearwater.

4. Scientology spent “at least $45 million” on improvements Gold Base in the period 1978-2004. The LA Times article does not mention Scientology’s sniper nest and lookout station at Gold Base that was named the Eagle’s Nest. Details are in my 2014 podcast with Jackson Morehead, the former Security Chief at the Base. In this podcast Jackson covers the big fire that was caused by toilet paper being set afire, the razor wire fences, and the sniper rifles at the Base:

5. Scientology was planning on a television station as early as 2004. Scientology TV was launched March 12, 2018 — a glacial fourteen years later. The “speed of particle flow” was slow on this project.

6. Scientology spent $9.4 million to build a mansion on its Gold Base for the deceased L. Ron Hubbard. The article informs us that Ron’s mansion is named Bonnie View and has a lap pool and a movie theater. Looks like Ron wants to do laps in his pool and watch movies when he returns from Target 2.

7. David Miscavige told Sea Org members that the Bonnie View mansion needed to built quickly as L. Ron Hubbard was returning and would make himself visible within thirteen years of his 1986 death. Former Sea Org member Karen Schless Pressley, author of Escaping Scientology: An Insider’s True Story, was quoted in the LA Times 2004 on Hubbard’s mansion and David Miscavige’s claim that Hubbard would soon appear:

A teenage L. Ron Hubbard never made himself visible by 1999 as promised by Scientology leader David Miscavige.

This is hardly surprising as David Miscavige’s prophetic track record has been abysmal:

* The Ideal Orgs have not boomed Scientology or even moved the needle

* Scientology TV was dead on arrival. Scientology’s “uncorrupted communication line to the billions” is an infomercial of incredible boredom and repetition.

* The new Flag Building in Clearwater did not boom Scientology.

* Scientology did not destroy Psychiatry by the year 2000 as Miscavige predicted

Finally, Miscavige got these predictions incredibly wrong when he made them in 1992 during the 25th Anniversary of the Sea Org:

Truth Revealed: The Church of Scientology Finally Explains How It Has Millions of Members

The Church of Scientology International (CSI) is the “Mother Church” of Scientology. As the official Mother Church, CSI makes this bold statement on one of its official websites:

The truth is that there are millions of individuals who participate in Scientology services and apply it to their lives.

In the very next sentence, CSI identifies the source for its claim that millions of individuals participate in Scientology:

This is according to the individual Churches that maintain the names of their parishioners and a record of their progress up the Scientology Bridge.

While all parishioners’ records are securely maintained at their local Church, the names and addresses of members of all Churches and Missions are provided to Church of Scientology International (CSI), which maintains the mailing list for Church magazines disseminated to all Scientologists. Our numbers come from this international list.

Parishioners’ records are not securely maintained and can be, in fact, culled by OSA to find dirt on Scientologists. Parishioners’ records can also be culled to help regges find “buttons” to raise more money. Laura Dieckman’s legal case has shown us that over 100 people have access to pc folders. And yet CSI claims that Parishioners’ records are securely maintained. Given that this statement is false, we must also treat with scrutiny CSI’s claim “that there are millions of individuals who participate in Scientology services and apply it to their lives.”

There are five glaringly obvious problems with CSI’s claim that millions of people are participating in Scientology:

1. Who are the people at the local Scientology churches sending the names of their members to CSI? The answer is that local staff members are sending the lists of names to CSI. This is a problem because CSI has a policy in which it declares that it does not stand behind any statements or claims made by staff members:

CSI’s claim that “there are millions of individuals who participate in Scientology services and apply it to their lives” is made by Scientology staff members and therefore CSI, per its own policy, takes no responsibility for this claim or any claims made by staff members. Absent verification by an independent third party audit, the staff members reporting millions of members must be assumed to be engaged in false reporting. I say this because there is no empirical evidence whatsoever that Scientology has millions of members — and we certainly can’t believe Scientology’s staff members given the fact that CSI itself refuses to stand behind statements made by its own staff members.

2. CSI designated the IAS as the official membership organization of Scientology. Therefore, only the IAS can make a true and accurate statement of membership numbers. However, the IAS is not a part of the Church of Scientology:

Applications to join the IAS are sent to the IAS. The Church of Scientology International told the IRS that it doesn’t even get a copy of IAS applications:

4. The Church of Scientology International told the IRS that the Church does not have access to IAS records:

The information requested regarding IAS receipts and expenditure is voluminous and not readily available to CSI or any other Scientology-related organization.

5. How can CSI possibly know how many Scientologists there are if it doesn’t know how  many people have applied to the IAS for membership? The answer is that CSI has to rely on statements made by staff members. However, as we said, CSI doesn’t stand behind statements made by staff members.This is all more Scientology nonsense. And yet there it is on Scientology’s website:

Certifiable Wingnut David Miscavige Claims Infinity Has a Front Porch & That He Travels Faster than Light

Lost in a space opera world of Marcabs, Fifth Force invaders, implant stations on Mars, and 75,000,000 year old body thetans, Scientology’s brutal dictator David Miscavige routinely wears a fake Navy uniform with fake medals. He pretends to be the Captain of a legally non-existent “Sea Org.” Miscavige also dresses his dog in a navy uniform and orders his underlings to salute the dog.

Unhinged lunatic and certifiable wingnut David Miscavige claimed in a bizzare speech that Infinity has a front porch. In this same speech, Miscavige claimed that 2015 surpassed any year since the “first tick of time.” In saying this, Miscavige essentially claimed to have existed since the very beginning of time, for only one who has existed since the beginning of time could compare 2015 to the first tick of time:

David Miscavige did not disclose the whereabouts of his “front porch of infinity” nor did he explain the physics whereby time is compressed. Nevertheless, he assured Scientologists that they had arrived at the front porch of infinity due to working at “warp speed” i.e. faster than the speed of light.

David Miscavige’s mental state is such that he actually believes he travels at superluminal speeds and can compress time.

While it is impossible to travel faster than C — the speed of light — Miscavige asserted his delusional claim that he and all other Scientologists can work at speeds faster than the speed of light and that this somehow compresses time.

While he is obviously lost in a world of mental illness in which Scientologists can work and travel at faster than light speeds, “Captain Miscavige” is also reported to be “abnormally normal” and is said to have a fondness for taco trucks; this according to his fake navy subordinate Mollie Hoertling of Bridge Publications:

Left unexplained by Ms. Hoertling is how she and David Miscavige can eat tacos, grilled cheese sandwiches, or cheeseburgers while working at faster than light speeds. Also left unexplained is where David Miscavige’s missing wife Shelly is located or her state of health. At the recent event in Birmingham, England David Miscavige was not wearing a wedding ring.

David Miscavige is deranged and this is why he makes fantastical claims such as superluminal travel and infinity having a front porch. Miscavige also engaged in an orgy of self-love and self-praise in this bizarre speech:

And of course at the height “Captain” David Miscavige’s megalomaniac lunacy we saw Tom Cruise groveling before Miscavige. Tom Cruise embarrassed himself here and David Miscavige enjoyed it immensely:

February 2017: Notes and Observations on Scientology

February 2017: Here are some notes and observations on how I watch and look at Scientology:

1. So many things constellate around The Underground Bunker that this place is mandatory daily reading. Tony Ortega understands context, story, and significance in a way that utterly eludes Scientology, David Miscavige, Freedom Rag, and the no-show-no-stats SMP.

2. Mike Rinder’s blog is the Tiffany’s of documenting Scientology’s ongoing failures, deceits, and decline. Mike provides an outstanding daily journal of real-time Scientology decline. Mike’s valuable insights into Scientology as an organization are possible due to his decades of managing the Office of Special Affairs on a daily basis. Mike understands Scientology and David Miscavige at a profound level. That Mike’s jovial and robust sense of humor is mated to his ferocious intellect makes reading his analysis of the situation that much more enjoyable.

3. Disconnection and Fair Game are non-negotiable and must go. To the degree that Scientology practices and enforces Disconnection and Fair Game, Scientology’s self-destruction will persist. No one out here in the real world will stand for Scientology’s breaking up of families and its programs of character assassination.

4. Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath was a devastating expose of the Church of Scientology and its brutality. If it is not already in the works, season two will spontaneously appear as an act of Creation Ex Nihilo; the metaphysics of television dictate that this must happen.

4. Twitter and Facebook are extremely important to watch. The sum of message traffic on these platforms provides invaluable existential information about Scientology and Culture. Social media shows Scientology’s inherent inability to interact with Culture. This ineptitude is traceable to L. Ron Hubbard who called for Scientology to use blatantly phony and dishonest PR in the place of apologetics or other forms of meaningful interaction with Culture.

5. Scientology’s hate websites are very important to watch. These incriminating sites constitute damning and irrefutable forensic evidence which shows that Scientology’s programs of Fair Game have an unlimited budget of tax-free dollars. These websites also offer a penetrating insight into the psyche of Miscavige and OSA in a way that betrays both of them. Like a Cold War era Sovietologist would note, a good analyst must study the propaganda operations and party line rhetoric of the other side. IMO, our side needs more analysts who are willing to monitor, document, analyze, and write about Scientology’s websites.

6. Scientology’s cash position, cash surplus, and real estate acquisitions are almost completely meaningless as significant metrics. Any organization with a cash surplus can buy and amass a real estate portfolio. In most cases, Scientology’s real estate acquisitions of decrepit old buildings in need of millions of dollars in renovations are designed to stall and buy time for David Miscavige. From my perspective, Miscavige is obviously using these empty buildings to buy time and create some semblance of hope for the future of Scientology. However, no one is fooled. Example: The San Fernando Valley Ideal Org is a complete waste of time and money. There is no excuse for Miscavige to leave that eyesore unfinished given the IAS cash pile. The PR damage done to Scientology by leaving buildings empty for years or decades, particularly when there is plenty of money available to open these buildings within 12-18 months, is inexcusable. Conversely, Scientology will cherry pick top properties. This was the case with SMP here in Hollywood or Larry Hagman’s place in Ojai. But then the Cult will not actually do anything with these premier properties except use them for PR.

7. David Miscavige needs to reverse the massive and long-term statcrash in Scientology and does not know how to do it because he refuses to understand the nature and essence of the problems facing Scientology. Understanding the real problems would require critical self-reflection on his part wherein he would conclude that he must resign and step aside. He has zero capabilities in this regard and believes himself to be indispensable to Scientology. Compounding this is the long term structural damage to Scientology wrought by Miscavige’s execution of Hubbard’s bad policies and Miscavige’s own failed programs in the period 2001 to the present day is irreversible. Miscavige massively overreached with his frenzied money grab in the Basics, selling IAS statuses, and the failed Ideal Org strategy. GAT I and GAT II were, and are, failures in ways Miscavige does not understand.

8. Scientology’s contradictory policies of greed-driven inhumanity place it at war with itself and all the parts of its own existence. To use an analogy, Scientology is like a raging alcoholic with serious self-created problems who denies they are an alcoholic and blames others for their problems. Everyone else can see the problems except Scientology. The Church of Scientology is an embarrassment to itself and does not see it.

9. The real numbers a good leaker could give are these:
A. Attendance at events: publics and SO.
B. The number of SO members over the past ten years.
C. The total number of IAS members in good standing with the Church.
D. Total membership losses of publics and SO over the past ten years.
E. Number of SO senior execs paid off to sign nondisclosure agreements in the past ten years.

10. One of the real things to watch is the covert consolidation of Scientology Orgs. Miscavige can call it whatever he wants, but consolidation is contraction and Scientology is contracting inwards upon itself with great force. The acquisition of real estate is a red herring. Purchasing buildings is meaningless in the face of Scientology’s uncontrollable and accelerating membership losses. The way out is through the nearest door.

11. The petard upon which Scientology is hanging itself is Disconnection and Fair Game.

Scientology Media Productions: Panhandling on the Streets of Hollywood!

757

Imagine telling the entire world you are purchasing an ultra-luxury state-of-the-art $100,000,000 private 757 business jet. As the interior of your jet is designed and built with the most opulent of appointments, you boast to the entire world and show off the spacious interior:

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The big day arrives as your magnificent $100,000,000 private jet is rolled out of the hangar to great applause and fanfare. However, there is only one problem: You have no money for jet fuel, pilots and crew, ramp fees, landing fees, maintenance, or any other operating costs. In other words, you are so broke that you can’t actually fly your new plane unless people donate money to you for operating expenses. And so your shiny new jet remains parked on the tarmac like a giant useless paperweight.

This, apparently, is exactly what has happened with the recently opened Scientology Media Productions (SMP) facility in Hollywood. As reported by Mike Rinder, the Church of Scientology is now claiming that it needs to raise money in order to fund productions at its $100,000,000 studio. SMP is all set to fly but, alas, has no gas money. Hence, the “Panhandling on the Streets of Hollywood” begging letter from SMP posted by Mike Rinder:

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Of course, this is all nonsense and is simply more Scientology greed at work. Scientology has plenty of money to fund SMP operating expenses. The IAS could write a big fat check from its billion dollar plus cash reserves and be done with it. After all, the IAS slush fund exists, it is claimed, to advance the aims and purposes of the Scientology religion, right? Seriously, though, Scientology will never fund anything when it can take in “new money” from credulous status-happy Scientologists and hang onto its “old money.”

As Mike Rinder has pointed out many times, the Church of Scientology already has a giant state of the art television, film, and music production facility at its Gold Base in San Jacinto, California that does not operate at anywhere near capacity. It’s not like Scientology actually needs a second underutilized production facility.


Variation on a Scam: The SMP fundraising scam reminds me of the old Super Power building scam. David Miscavige gave endless excuses for years as to why he couldn’t open the Super Power Building. One of Miscavige’s lamest excuses came in 2010 when he said he needed  “1,000 more” Scientologists to join the Sea Org before he could open  the Super Power building — and this is really no different than Miscavige saying Scientology Media Productions needs operating funds before it can produce content:

Super.Power.1000

David Miscavige’s next excuse was that he needed the “Final 300” Sea Org members before he could open Super Power:

SP.300

Having failed to get all of the “Final 300” Sea Org members, David Miscavige was down to needing 110 new Sea Org members:

SP.110

There are always excuses in Scientology for why the planet cannot cleared, buildings cannot be opened, or content cannot be produced in a new $100,000,000 studio. The usual excuses are that more more money has to be raised; more Sea Org members are needed; there has to 10,000 on Solo NOTs; all Orgs must be St. Hill size; all Orgs must be Ideal, etc. It really doesn’t matter so long as an excuse is provided.

I don’t know if Flag ever recruited the 1,000 Sea Org members. What I do know is that the Super Power building remained the most profitable empty building in the world from 1998 until it opened on November 17, 2013. As Ashley Collman of the Daily Mail wrote at the time:

The group broke ground on the Mediterranean Revival-style  building in 1998, but stopped work after finishing the shell.

For three years, the group ceased construction on the project until the city started imposing $250-a-day fines for code violations.

Scientology defectors have explained that the building’s slow construction is due to church leader’s who have allegedly used the project as a fundraising cash cow.

An analysis by the Tampa Bay Times discovered that the church had raised $145million for the building, much higher than the $100million it was estimated to cost.

Who knows? David Miscavige and Scientology may need to postpone production at Scientology Media Productions indefinitely until more money is raised, more Sea Org members are recruited, or until the Commodore returns from Target 2.


To whimsically add to our excursion through one of Scientology’s Scams of the Past, former Sea Org member Aaron Saxton made a very humorous and prescient comment on ESMB during the 2010 “1,000 Sea Org are needed for Super Power!” campaign:

It just occured to me that this statement by DM [that 1,000 Sea Org members are needed for Super Power] will be sending the jitters through the SO, especially within Los Angeles.

They know they will not have a hope in hell of getting this many recruits.

So what they will do is start doing “utilization” surveys on SO members around the world. They will give CMO quotas in each continent to find people “under utilized” and send them to Flag.

Following this they will empty out their RPF’s to get crew to the FSO to get the numbers up.

A similar incident happened in 1995 when DM went nutty at the FSO and we ended up sending over 150 missionaires to FLB.

None of them bar a very select few, ever made it back. They all ended up getting posted down there.

I can see DM doing a similar thing.

It is apparent that DM is going to keep command teams in the continental liaison offices to run things directly as I think DM can see the end of IMO/HGB middle management on the horizon.

Why run things on a via when he thinks he is so great at running it directly?

1000 recruits…LOL, I would pay a dollar to see that!

Hey, should I send in my billion year contract? Perhaps they will re-hire me? I soooo want to be part of the biggest failure in Scn history. Please please please!


In related news, Scientology fundraising in now under way for the L. Ron Hubbard Hall and park in Clearwater, Florida. As gushing Scientology coverage of the recent LRH birthday celebration enthused:

There was also the momentous announcement of the future L. Ron Hubbard Hall in Clearwater, a magnificent auditorium designed to seat thousands with convention and banquet conversion capability, complemented by a beautifully-appointed L. Ron Hubbard Park.

Scientology likes to brag about its accomplishments. I have to give Scientology credit for this: It has amassed the world’s largest irrelevant and non-performing real estate portfolio ever and continues to do. We have the IRS to thank for giving this deviant and real-estate-obsessed group its wholly unmerited tax exemption.

Scientology Inc: L. Ron Hubbard Never Appointed David Miscavige as his Successor (Mark Fisher)

In this podcast Mark Fisher — who was David Miscavige’s former assistant for many years at the Corporate Liaison Office and later RTC — discusses how L. Ron Hubbard never appointed  David Miscavige as his Successor. Instead, Mark describes how David Miscavige, who then worked as an employee of the privately-owned for-profit company Author Services Inc., used ASI to stage a palace coup to take over RTC, and thus the Church, after the death of L. Ron Hubbard.

Mark Fisher also discusses how he took personal possession of L. Ron Hubbard’s auditing folders and the OTVIII – OTX materials after Hubbard’s death, this at the direct order of David Miscavige.

 In my previous article Scientology claims L. Ron Hubbard chose David Miscavige to succeed him, proving he didn’t, David Miscavige used Scientology attorney Eric Lieberman to insist that he, David Miscavige, had rightfully inherited the mantle of L. Ron Hubbard. Lieberman insisted the Church has documents from L. Ron Hubbard supporting this claim. However, neither Lieberman nor the Church has ever publicly produced these alleged documents. It stands to reason that if such documents existed then David Miscavige would certainly have produced and publicly circulated these documents immediately upon the death of L. Ron Hubbard in January 1986. This never happened. Therefore, Lieberman’s claim must remain unsubstantiated until such a time as the purported documents are publicly posted online and made available for one and all to examine.

This matter also the question: Why, after 30 years at the top of Scientology, does David Miscavige suddenly feel the need to assert that he is the legitimate successor of L. Ron Hubbard? The answer may lie in the fact that many current and former Scientologists view Miscavige’s succession to power as having been the result of an illegitimate palace coup after L. Ron Hubbard died on January 26, 1966 without having appointed a successor.

 In the David Miscavige.Affadavit.17 Feb 1994 David Miscavige stated that L. Ron Hubbard went completely out of touch with any and all Church entities from May of 1984 until he passed away in January of 1986.

 This means that from May 1984 forward, Hubbard had absolutely no contact with David Miscavige or anyone else in the Church. And from 1982-1987 David Miscavige was COB Author Services Inc., a for-profit California corporation that was not a part of the Church of Scientology International. During this time period, however, David Miscavige arguably pierced the corporate veils between ASI, CST. RTC, and CSI at one crucial event when “Commander” David Miscavige showed up in the uniform of a Sea Org member to help conduct the Mission Holder Massacre of October 1982. As an employee of a privately-owned corporation, Miscavige had no authority to act within CST, RTC, or CSI. Nevertheless, Miscavige announced to the Mission Holders:

“Earlier this evening both Kingsley Wimbush and Dean Stokes were here. They have both now been declared and we are pursuing criminal charges against them. They have been delivering their own squirrel tech while calling it Scientology. Kingsley Wimbush’s ‘dinging process’ is complete squirrel. You won’t find it in any tech, yet he has been calling it Scientology. That’s a violation of trademark laws and he now faces some serious charges for this crime. This sort of activity is NOT going to go on any more.”

Question: By what right or authority did Commodore David Miscavige declare Kingsley Wimbush and Dean Stokes? As an ASI employee, Miscavige had absolutely no standing in CSI; he had no ecclesiastical or corporate authority to declare SP’s. And yet in the 1982 photo below we see David Miscavige declaring Mission Holder Dean Stokes of Dallas an SP:
DM.Dean.Stokes

Given David Miscavige’s lack of corporate and ecclesiastical standing in the Church, we must therefore assume David Miscavige declared Dean Stokes based upon Miscavige’s standing as a then Commander – and later Captain — in the Sea Org. However, this belies what CSI Legal Director Alan Cartwright stated in when he was deposed by Ray Jeffrey in Rathbun v. Miscavige:

Q. (By Mr. Jeffrey) Okay. Is David Miscavige captain of the Sea Organization?
A. No.

Q. What — does he have a rank within the Sea Organization?
A. He has a rank, just like I have a rank.

Q. And what is his rank?
A. From what I understand, he has a rank of captain.

Q. Okay. Is that an insulting term?
A. I don’t know about being insulting, it’s just an incorrect term.

Q. According to you?
A. Insulting?

Q. Yeah, that it’s — no, you said it’s incorrect. It’s incorrect according to you.
A. What I said to you was I don’t know him as Captain David Miscavige. I’ve never heard that being used.

Q. Have you ever seen him in his captain’s uniform?
A. I’ve seen him in his Sea Org uniform.

Q. And is it a captain’s uniform with captain’s rank?
A. You know, I’m not sure.

Q. Do you have a uniform?
A. Yes.

Q. And so, what you’re saying is that everyone within this group called the Sea Organization has a rank, but the ranks are meaningless?
A. Ranks — these — you have to understand what the Sea Org is. It’s a religious order, and these are — these are honorary positions that are given to someone because of longevity and what they’ve done for the religion. That’s all it is.

Q. Is there any chain of authority from rank to rank? Does a captain have authority in connection with an ensign?
A. No.

Q. There’s no authority that derives from that?

A. None whatsoever. Just to give you an example, I’m an ensign, Linda Hamel is a midshipman, I have a senior rank to her.

Q. And both of those ranks are beneath captain?

A. In the levels of ranks, yes.

Q. But, you are saying that the ranks are meaningless in terms of authority?
A. Totally.

According to CSI Legal Director Alan Cartwright,  Sea Org ranks are meaningless in Scientology. Hence, corporate ranks mean everything. So to repeat, how did David Miscavige, an employee of a for-profit privately owned corporation called Author Services Inc., have any corporate or ecclesiastical standing within CSI standing to declare Dean Stokes, Kingsley Wimbush, or anyone else an SP in 1982 at the Mission Holders Conference? The answer is that he didn’t.

David Miscavige’s claim that his Sea Org rank means nothing does not withstand scrutiny when we consider the actions of “Sea Org Commander David Miscavige” at the 1982 Mission Holders Conference. The for-profit ASI had no authority to declare anyone an SP. Miscavige could have only acted from his role and authority within the Sea Org when he declared people. This proves that the Sea Org actually runs the Church of Scientology; the “farrago of cavils” from Alan Cartwright notwithstanding.

 Likewise, David Miscavige’s claim to be the legitimate successor to L. Ron Hubbard does not withstand scrutiny when we consider the complete absence of any  succession document, or documents, written by L. Ron Hubbard. Rather, based upon the available evidence, we must conclude that David Miscavige came to power in a palace coup he staged to take over RTC after the death of L. Ron Hubbard.

Scientlology Money Project Chart # 11

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Chart copyright 2015 Jeffrey Augustine. Please attribute when reposting.


The structure of Scientology Inc. is rife with self-serving conflicts of interest by David Miscavige and his enablers both in OSA and private practice.

Scientologists must confront this fact: Their “Church” has gone criminal and is in an out exchange condition. This is a rip off per Mr. Hubbard:

“First consider a group which takes in money but does not deliver anything in exchange. This is called rip-off. It is the ‘exchange’ condition of robbers, tax men, governments and other criminal elements.” – L. Ron Hubbard, HCO PL 10 Sep 82 – Exchange, Org Income and Staff Pay.

Scientologists are encouraged to do their own Doubt Formula to find out what is true for them. The data found here on the Scientology Money Project is from publicly-available IRS records, court records, and other public documents. I found virtually everything on this blog by using Google. Knowledge is power.

2016 will bring increasing challenges to Scientology Inc. as ever-increasing exposure is brought to bear on this criminal organization masquerading as a religion. Particular scrutiny will be on Kingpin David Miscavige and his enablers.